I had quite the surprise the other day, when I chanced to look out of the back patio door and saw a lot of interesting bird movement going on in our grassy backyard area. This soon transferred to my nesting boxes where a lot of toing and froing started to take place as the birds concerned, Bluebirds, inspected and re-inspected what I can only assume were their birthplaces! There were four of them that I could count at any one time, and they gave me quite the performance, both at rest and in flight. What a treat to see them again, even if it was only to pop in en-route to their warmer winter dwellings down south! They perched in the trees for a while and then disappeared temporarily to return the next day as well. Super!

Family visitors from Abroad, kept me busy driving, for a couple of weeks, as we endeavoured to take in as many of the fall’s spectacular colors as we could. Of course, the prospects of maybe seeing some other different birds meant that my camera was always with me too. Thus, when we did happen to spot some large white birds near one of our large local lock areas of the waterway, I was already prepared. There were four of them browsing the shallow water’s edge and I could immediately identify them as being Swans. Not being able to get very close to them, I waited to identify their species once I had downloaded my pictures. Once this was done, I think that I am safe in saying that they were the Tundra, also known as a Whistling type of Swan. My visitors were also excited, although swans are a far more common sighting on their rivers than ours and more likely to be the European variety of Mute Swans.

On another trip into the nearby wooded country areas, we had to draw to a halt to allow a flock of seven or eight Wild Turkeys make their way across the dirt road into the nearby trees. This they duly did and I was able to get a couple of shots of them for the record. Of course, as well as the Turkeys, our visitors got to see the many Canada Geese either grazing or resting in the roadside fields and on the water. Their V formation as they passed overhead was also quite the novelty for them, even though Canada Geese are now quite a common sight in their own country in their parks! The Turkey Vultures were also quite a hit, as they soared over the hedgerows and fields in search of food.

Getting back to our garden birds, before they too had to depart homewards, our visitors were able to see many of our birds who dwell here all the time, but they also got to see some Juncos and a White Crowned Sparrow who made their return to us during the stay. Hopefully you too are starting to witness the return of some of our birds and are reacquainting yourselves with them. Whilst you are doing so, make sure that you stay safe and well.


John Baldwin


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